THE VIRTUAL MUSEUM - A MUSEUM WITHOUT LIMITS?
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The concept of a virtual museum is not new. Earlier researchers note its vagueness. Opinions concerning virtual museums are typically based on the comparison of physical and virtual collections. This relationship is becoming ever more complex. A virtual museum may be experienced as a surrogate of real artefacts and as an entirely imaginary construct. New formats are emerging. The Virtual Museum Transnational Network (www.v-must.net) of heritage organisations across Europe (V-MusT), funded from 2011 to 2015 under the European Community Seventh Framework Programme, aims to stimulate research into virtual museology, education and technical developments in this area. The Network relies on international collaboration and draws on considerable earlier research, existing standards and good practice guides, such as the London Charter for the Computer-based Visualisation of Cultural Heritage. The Network also develops a new typology and evaluation criteria. The author considers evolution of the concept of virtual museums and introduces some activities of V-MusT. The focus is on the UK V-MusT Summer School in virtual restoration and reconstruction, organised in September 2012 by the department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London in cooperation with other museums and academic institutions. A number of questions concerning the role of the virtual museum in today’s digital culture are raised. The Polish title of the paper is a pun on the seemingly unlimited possibilities of the global virtual museum.
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